This unpretentious, endearing film is a modest triumph. Based on interviews with more than 500 people about the one memory they would choose to take with them to heaven, Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-Eda has modeled a unique blend of documentary and fiction that addresses the vagaries of memory but also what it means to make films. After Life transpires in a sort of way station where the dead must select one memory to be re-created on film and taken on with them forever, relinquishing everything else. Over the span of a week, a dedicated group of caseworkers tease out self-deceptions as well as real epiphanies from 22 different lives. An old woman remembers reuniting with her husband on a crowded bridge after World War II; a man recollects the breeze felt on a tram ride the day before summer vacation; a successful man faces his own treachery. Remembering becomes a courageous act in the casual exposition of this lovely film. --Fionn Meade
From the award-winning director Kore-eda Hirokazu (Maborosi) comes a remarkably touching film exploring the profound human need to discover meaning in everyday life.
Many films have offered insight into the unexplainable realm of the after life. In Kore-eda's thought-provoking vision, the newly deceased find themselves in a way station somewhere between Heaven and Earth.
With the help of dedicated caseworkers, each soul is given three days to choose one cherished memory from their life that they will relive for eternity. As the film reveals, recognizing happiness and finding a life's worth of meaning in a single event is no simple task. If Heaven is only a single memory from your life, as Kore-eda suggests, which memory would you choose?
"After Life" opens up to things that some of us may wonder about. The movie is truely magical. "Where do we go when we die? Read morePublished on July 24 2003
This film is one of my top 5. It is one of the films you can watch several times and still walk away with something new. The acting is beyond oscar caliber. Read morePublished on Feb. 12 2003
The recently deceased are transported to a way station en route to the afterlife, at which they are required to select a single memory in which they will exist for eternity. Read morePublished on Nov. 26 2002 by David Bonesteel
...P>There were 3 main things that were so bad about this film. 1: The way it was filmed, 2: The premise behind it, 3: The execution of this premise. Read morePublished on Nov. 24 2002 by Tim Kaiser
This has become one of my favorite films. Just when you think the film is about to end, it goes in a surprising direction and touches you even more deeply. Read morePublished on Sept. 3 2002 by Blu-ray Bill
I don't know whether I just didn't "get it" or something but this film was downright boring to me. I had a hard time focusing my attention. Read morePublished on Aug. 2 2002 by A H Booches
it's rare that I want to watch a movie twice in one sitting. After I finished watching After-Life the first time, I immediately rewound it to watch it again. Read morePublished on May 2 2002 by cakeandcoffee